Who wants the ‘Church Act bill’ 2O19?

The framers of the Indian Constitution thought it wise to include provisions for the protection of religious minorities and thus Articles 25 to 30 were made a part of the fundamental rights. Religious freedom contained in those articles was guaranteed by the constitution. According to the report, the CPM-led Kerala Govt. wants to move a ‘Church Act bill’ to control the Christian institutions and their wealth from clergymen to the laymen in the Church. They say that there are allegations of corruption against the clerics in the Churches while dealing transaction of Church properties and admission in their educational institutions. Who are all raising these allegations since a long time? Those members who have contributed nothing for the Church. And others who belong to outside the Church may have jealous how those churches in Kerala doing major contribution in the field of education, health and charitable activities spending crores of rupees every year. Apart from this, some of them have seen the Church as business establishments who are unaware of what is happening to their surroundings! The churches in Kerala are functioning on Hierarchical level under the Bishops. All the clergymen and religious sisters and also the laity are bound to follow the church ‘Canon Law’ apart from the law of the land. If any of the clergymen including bishops involved in illegal activities or misappropriation of Church funds, the Church hierarchy can ‘take action against them according to the ‘Canon Law’: Even laymen have every right to raise the issue with the hierarchy against the clergy men if it is reasonable.

All the clergymen and the religious sisters are dedicated their lives to serve the people who deserve. Those religious sisters are involved in caring for the sick, the elderly, the physically and mentally handicapped, the orphans, the widows, the lepers, aids patients, the destitute and so on. Is it possible to do all these socio-charitable service by the Government? From where the government will get thousands of dedicated men and women to do all these humanitarian services?

Therefore it is illogical and unwarranted the so-called ‘Church Act Bill’ which is against the ‘minority rights’ and the secular credentials of the country.

Thomas Mulackel,
Bengaluru-560 102